Source: Blizzard Medicine
There’s a super storm heading out East. Ironically, up here in Maine we won’t get any snow, but the mid-Atlantic states sure will. But for many people, every day is blizzard day in the winter. Many of us are bitterly cold all the time, even in mild temperatures. And others of us have freezing hands and/or feet all the time. So here are some tips for warming the body’s yang, it’s “hot” energy, to help you enjoy winter more, and to help keep you healthy and more able to fight off colds and flu.
There are two main types of Qi, or energy, in the body: the yin and the yang. You see them often displayed in the yin/yang symbol.
The symbol shows how they are interconnected, they can not exist without each other. The yin energy is the cool, quiet, still, night, feminine energy. The yang is the hot, moving, active, day, male energy. For those of us with yang deficiency, winter is miserable because we are always cold. But there are several things you can do to boost your natural yang, your inner furnace. They include using a hot water bottle on your low abdomen or low back (unless you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or you have a health issue where heat is contraindicated). You can also soak your feet in very warm water, adding epsom salts is even better. This puts warmth right into the Kidney channel, which has many important points on the feet. The Kidney Yang is like the furnace that feeds the body so this is a great way to boost warmth. You can also eliminate “cold” foods from your diet. No raw foods, including salads, in the cold months. Cook everything, even if just for a few moments. Avoid ice in your drinks and any frozen foods – save ice cream for July! And add warming foods and spices such as onion, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and any warm flavors such as curry, salsa, etc.
Also, after going outside and getting very cold, don’t take a hot bath or shower right away. In Chinese Medicine this just forces the cold into the interior of the body. You must warm the body from the inside out. Hot tea or soup lets the body kick the cold out, rather than forcing it further inward where it can lead to illness.
These simple tricks can help you warm your body, stay healthy and be fired up to enjoy this beautiful time of year!
My mother just died. I spent a wonderful Christmas with her and my father in our home, with our two sons. It was picture perfect. They left on the 26th. By the 29th she was dead. Though she had been ill, she had been so alive just days before, the news rocked my world to a depth I could never have imagined. My mother. I don’t have a mother any more. I feel like I lost 1,000 different people; from the frail old woman my mother had suddenly become due to her illness, to the robust grab life by the horns mother who raised me, to the patient mother who sat in a rocking chair in my bedroom every night when I was afraid to go to sleep when I was 9, to the fun mother who let all my friends come over and cooked us big dinners in high school, even to the mother with whom I didn’t always get along. I lost them all. And here is what I know now…
Love everyone. Love everyone. Period. That’s it. It is NO more complicated than that. If someone is really bad for you, then don’t have them in your life. But you can still send them love. Love is ALL there is. The second I found out my mother died, I felt her so strongly, I mean really and truly felt her like she was there, all week that we were at my parents’ house grieving and supporting my dad and arranging things, even standing next to her casket, I can tell you with 100% certainty, she was there. And the thing is – she was perfect. She was joyful and light in a way that I had never felt anyone be before. Because when someone dies, they go back to the total perfection from which they came, from which we all came. Perfect complete joyful versions of their souls. But here’s the kicker – we are that when we are alive too, we just can’t see it. We are all perfect, right now. You are, I am, my father is, the grumpy lady at the gas station is. Of course we have to have daily coping skills to not let toxic people effect our lives, I don’t search out unpleasant people as friends. But the point is – love everyone. Did I already say that? Though my mother and I didn’t always understand each other, by my 20s I had finally gotten this – love her. Just give. Stop trying to get all the time. Give perfect love and your relationships will be perfect. I don’t mean there will never be hurt feelings or misunderstandings or they won’t bug the heck out of you. But the relationship will be perfect. Love without worrying about your little needs, without grasping and wanting. Give love freely and abundantly and with joy. Because before you know it, someone you love is gone. Gone. And the main comfort you will have is knowing that you loved them completely. Loved their imperfect, difficult, wonderful selves with our imperfect, difficult, wonderful love.
What I know for sure is that the moment we die, we return to complete perfection. But what I hadn’t realized, is that that perfect soul is within all of us all the time, right now, right here. So don’t wait for death to start seeing that perfection, celebrating it…loving it. Start now.